Michael Jackson's German fans 'stunned'
19 November 2003 , FRANKFURT - Michael Jackson's fans in Germany were stunned by reports that scores of police officers raided their idol's Neverland Ranch in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse.
19 November 2003
FRANKFURT - Michael Jackson's fans in Germany were stunned by reports that scores of police officers raided their idol's Neverland Ranch in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse.
"I'm sure I speak for hundreds of thousands of Michael's fans in Germany when I say we are absolutely stunned by this massive invasion of his privacy by the authorities in California," said Martin Stock, head of the Frankfurt-based Michael Jackson Fan Club of Germany.
"We are convinced this is all some terrible miscarriage of justice and that the truth will come out eventually, exonerating Michael completely," 29-year-old Stock said.
Up to 60 police officers reportedly conducted a search of Jackson's Neverland Ranch Tuesday in connection with a 12-year-old boy's allegations of sexual misconduct.
Jackson, 45, was taping a video in Las Vegas and was not at the sprawling ranch when police arrived with a search warrant.
The raid came on the same day that Jackson released a new compilation of hits that featured his latest single, "One More Chance".
Jackson has been dogged by financial problems and personal scandals, including last year's dangling of his baby outside a hotel window in Berlin.
In February, he revealed in a British television documentary that he sometimes shared his Neverland bedroom with boys. One boy, a 12- year-old cancer survivor named Gavin, spoke openly about his affection for Jackson and of enjoying sleepovers with the pop star at Neverland.
"Why can't you share your bed?" Jackson asked in the documentary. "The most loving thing you can do is share your bed with someone." He strongly denied any sexual intent.
The former child star and lead singer of the Jackson Five, the group he formed with his brothers, became known as the "King of Pop" after huge international hits like "Thriller" (1982), "Bad" (1987) and "Dangerous" (1991).
His career began to slide in 1993 after allegations that he molested a boy. Jackson maintained his innocence, and no criminal charges were filed. He reportedly paid a multimillion-dollar civil settlement.
Subject: German news